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June 18, 2013After signing his National Letter of Intent with San Diego State back in February to play linebacker for the Aztecs, Calvin Munson thought about not even playing baseball for St. Charles (Mo.) Francis Howell this past season.
But Munson ultimately decided it would be fun to play out his senior baseball season with his friends. So every time he stepped to the mound or into the batter's box, the pitcher/first baseman was cool, calm and collected. There was no pressure to do well and impress the Major League Baseball scouts at his games, since his future was already decided.
Then wouldn't you know it, Munson had a monster year. He led Francis Howell to a Missouri Class 5 state championship and a 33-5 record. On the mound, he had a perfect 9-0 record with a 0.64 ERA and 74 strikeouts. He also batted .434 with 46 RBI and nine home runs, while sporting a .496 on base percentage and .796 slugging percentage.
Needless to say, those same pro scouts that Munson felt no need to impress were quite impressed. The St. Louis Cardinals -- his hometown team -- selected Munson with the 935th overall pick in the 31st round of the MLB Draft, and all of a sudden he had another option to think about.
"I was all football going into the baseball year, and I was still doing football workouts," Munson said. "I was even considering not playing baseball, but I decided to do it and have some fun with my friends. I was just going to have fun with it and I didn't think much of it. I succeeded and did really well. I was still all football, but the Major League Baseball Draft door opened up and I really considered it. I didn't know why God would open that door and not want me to consider it."
So after 10 days of deliberation and weighing the options, Munson made his big decision on Tuesday and announced it to the world via Twitter:
"I put in a lot of consideration, but in the end it's where your passion is at, and my passion is in football," said Munson, who passed up the Cardinals and a $100,000 signing bonus to join SDSU and begin his college football career.
"In a way it was cooler because it was my hometown team, but a baseball team is a baseball team and it's the same. You can get traded, so joining the Cardinals wasn't a set thing. Just the fact that it was the Cardinals was cool, but in the end I don't think it made it much harder.
"It didn't make sense for me money-wise to turn down a full scholarship for school. In the end, even if it were a bigger money amount, it wouldn't have been worth it because my passion is for football."
Munson plans to head down to San Diego on July 1, then the Aztecs start summer school July 8. In the meantime, he's busy working out and preparing to make the transition to Div. I football.
But at the end of the day, if football doesn't work out then Munson says baseball will definitely be an option he would explore. The Cardinals have already told him they'd be happy to give him a tryout in the future.
"If football doesn't work out, then I'm a competitor and I always will be one," Munson said. "If the football door ever closes then I'm definitely going to try to re-open that baseball one for sure."
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